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00:30:00

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

Soma 10, Us 5, Moore 3, Sugaya 2, Hillis 2, Fong 2, John Goldman 1, Antonini 1, Mr. Teague 1, Octavia 1, Corey 1, Dufty 1, Wu 1, Cynthia Hayward 1, Legitimatization 1, U.n. 1, Borden 1, The City 1, San Francisco 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    November 30, 2012
    9:00 - 9:30pm PST  

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research on that before next week. i understand we're having an approval hearing or we're having a hearing to move forward -- further forward on western soma. the final thing i'd like to bring up is the four blocks that overlap the potential central corridor that are a part of western soma. i think, you know, we really need a little bit more information as to what might be proposed for this area. what are the potential solutions? are there plans for additional high density, additional parking? some of the things that may be in conflict with that area. and while we scrutinize closely the 11th street area, we've done almost no scrutiny at all over the area that possibly could be contentious. i'm not advocating for keeping this area or any part of
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western soma on hold until the central corridor is ready to go forward because that doesn't make sense. but i think we really have to know where the possible areas of conflict may be, what could be done to make the two compatible, and what are the options that would be before us. i know we can't jump ahead two or three years to know exactly what may be planned for central corridor, but perhaps someone could give us some insight into what is being thought of there and how to make the two dovetail together in a way that keeps the western soma plan moving forward. so, i think i'd like to see that certainly for next week if we could have a little bit more explanation along those lines. >> let me follow-up on that. related to the four blocks of overlap, mr. teague, are you able to describe a little bit further in detail how that might look or are there any ideas on those four blocks?
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how to treat it? >> sure. you mean obviously other than what is proposed right now? >> right. >> well, you know, there are other potential options with how to deal with that. again, what we're proposing right now is to have western soma go forward as proposed on its timeline, let central corridor come along on its timeline. one spectrum that's been discussed, carving out the portion of overlap and not rezoning that under this process right now and essentially putting that area on hold until central corridor moves forward, something that maybe less intense could be some type of provision in the zoning about the expiration date of the zoning or effective date of the zoning that would give some flexibility within the zoning and overlap area which start or end in relation
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to central corridor. or you could also potentially just acknowledge that this area is currently being evaluated in another planning process and be able to look at it again in a couple years in your approval resolution. so, you know, there are a range of options that are potentially out there that could be investigated further. but, again, we're proposing to move forward as is. >> okay, thank you. commissioner borden. >> yeah, i'll ask another question about -- has the notification gone out for next week's hearing, all the property owners -- how does that work when you have -- >> sure. basically any property owner in the plan area and then every property owner with property within 300 feet of the boundary of the plan area. >> so this has gone out -- >> they've gone out. >> i guess what i think i'm interested in discussing a little more is thinking about this, whether we're talking about grandfathering or pipeline. i think that the article 11
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issue kind of raises that question. if there is decision to make it more restrictive because there are so many buildings that could fall into that category, then i would think that it would still be important to look at some of those buildings in their existing uses. if there is a legalization or grandfathering process that makes sense, look at whether something should be done because we did that in the eastern neighborhoods. i just think it's important -- this issue, the first time we heard of it was today. and i don't know that many other property owners, you said there's a lot of buildings impacted, are even aware that's something that's changed. and it's not an obvious thing that would have changed in the plan. so, i just think -- when i'm concerned about notification, it's that kind of stuff that obviously people are super informed like we all are, pay attention, know what's going on. but a lot of other people don't. and even us didn't recognize it was a problem and we've seen this plan many times. so, you know, therein lies the concern.
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and the same thing in terms of uses that are becoming legal nonconforming. if there is a need or we think there is any sort of legitimatization process, i feel like we need to look at that. i haven't seen a lot of members of the public active except for the entertainment community. it's kind of concerning, not because, you know, i would love to think everyone is happy and this plan is perfect, but the point is there's always the lack of, you know, details that people don't see and then it causes a lot of problems with the planning department then later, people are upset with us because we didn't inform them. so, i'd like to look at, you know, if that -- at that next hearing if we can look at some of the buildings in that position and some of the other areas where we have a pretty large segment where people will become -- uses will be become legal nonconforming, how we want to treat that, how we want to treat any future expansions which usually are not allowed
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and what the rules are around, you know, what's accessory sort of expansion and things that people can do with those nonconforming uses. so, i don't know if you had something to say to that. >> i just wanted to make one clarification, kind of to distinguish between legitimatization program and legal nonconforming. so, any use that's legal now may already be legal nonconforming or it's legal now and it's going to be rezoned in a way that use is no longer permitted, it will become legal nonconforming. how we treat those uses, obviously they're allowed to stay. in some cases depending on the use, they're allowed to expand to some degree with certain approvals. that's already kind of covered in the code. the legitimate am i sayization process we did for eastern neighborhoods was specifically for projects that had not got earn their permit so they weren't legal but uses that could have gotten their permits when they went but they didn't. >> right. >> it gave them an option to
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come in and become legal nonconforming uses * because if it's a situation where you have a use that's legal right now and we're proposing to rezone it and it's going to become legal nonconforming use, there's no way to kind of provide a pathway to legalizing that use without changing the zoning. >> right. i was thinking about doing that here. it doesn't sound like we were. >> no, we were not proposing to do a legitimatization process within western soma. >> i just think that -- i think that commissioner moore's questions to a certain extent asking about how we treated things in eastern neighborhood and how that applies to western soma. and i recognize that every treatment -- i know we've been trying to -- we looked at market octavia and we looked at eastern neighborhoods. we're trying to create some degree of consistency across how the code treats some general principles and i just think that to the extent that that was done in eastern neighborhoods or in other plan areas, i think it's u.n.
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reasonable to see how we might do this in this plan area. if there is a strong compelling reason not to to understand what those compelling arguments are, and how it impacts people because, again, i think there's a reasonable expectation that what happened in the process of eastern neighborhoods would then carry over to the new process. and, so, i think that's what we need to kind of figure out and work on. and then the same thing you're talking about with grandfathering, i don't know how many other projects fit the same parameters of the 11th street. maybe they're the only one. but if you can pull that information for us because i think it would be useful. then you could have a more intelligent conversation about do we want to make a special exemption for this one project or is it an issue we need to deal with, you know, in a greater manner. if so, what would be the timeline cutoffs or things we did like in eastern neighborhoods. there were various dates i recalled and how much more fees or et cetera, you had to pay depending on those dates. and i just think -- we just
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need to understand the scope of the problem. i don't think that we do. >> yeah, obviously a different issue in eastern neighborhoods, a different beast in terms of projects being held up simply because of the p-d-r issue. so, you actually had like this tangible pipeline of projects that were kind of waiting around where we didn't necessarily have that issue here. >> right. >> in western soma. we can definitely do an analysis -- [multiple voices] >> figure out what other projects may be pipeline worthy, so to speak. the other issue about the legitimatization, just to be clear for the commission and people here today, * you know, again, the legitimatization were for people who had went -- gone in but not gotten their permit. >> right. that is probably true still -- >> there are plenty people, i'm sure there are plenty of those uses 234 western soma. i think most of the people we've heard from are people who have legal nonconforming uses
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* that currently are in areas that don't permit office because right now under the current zoning you can't really have office anywhere. or you have people who want to do new office, which obviously that is a very sensitive issue in western soma because very high demand for office space. but it's not the kind of space -- not the kind of use they want to have to be prevalent throughout the plan area. we have the wmuo district on townsend street. we are permitting one floor of office space in the rcd -- >> right, already existing office. >> right. >> on top of that looking at now you have these article 11 buildings which i imagine many of which have existing office in them because they were allowed to today, now in the future won't be able to. so, looking at how we treat -- even if we choose to call out that category in a separate manner, i just think we need to figure it out because, you know, and actually put [speaker not understood] when it gets to the supervisors, they have as
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much information as possible. but, yeah, that's the other thing, i don't want us to not forget about the lessons we've learned in the past. and i guess i also would say 3b as i recalled was the best -- was the best option because it offered a daytime and a nighttime use. and then i guess it would have required the 11th street project to be grandfathered because of that. so, but again, i would prefer to figure out whether or not that project still needs grandfathering or if it's a bigger problem. >> commissioner hillis. >> a question on the 11th street project. i'm also supportive of 3b, but is that project grandfathered in, then, under 3b? i thought not. >> no. there is no grandfathering of any project. >> but it wouldn't be allowed under 3b? >> right. it won be permitted under the wmuo zoning. >> can you tell us more about that project, like how many units? >> if you don't mind, i have
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the architect come up, he can tell you much bert than i can. >> yeah. * better than i can >> commissioners, john goldman. 24 units along 11th street. all the units are either studios or one bedrooms. and the only two bedrooms are at the back along the rear yard. and that was done for sound isolation purposes in response to our working with the nighttime entertainment people back in 2005. we actually had three meetings and actually kind of revised the plan numerous times to fit their goals. i think now it would be acceptable to them. at least acceptable to one of the club owners. i haven't talked to the others specifically. but there would be 24 units. >> you talked about [speaker not understood]. do you know the exact number? >> if you give me a minute, i've got the plans with me. >> that's all right.
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>> okay. it's roughly -- there's more studios than one bedrooms in the two-bedroom town houses. the two bedrooms are all at the back. >> thank you. >> sure. >> so, on that, too, i think this is a unique situation. we talk about grandfathering pipeline projects. but it seems like it's a last -- you know, kind of a last minute change of the zoning that wasn't necessarily contemplated. so, i would be supportive of some kind of grandfathering carve out, whatever we want to call it for that project on 11th street. and then -- but i like the fact, too -- i think if there is support for that, there should be provisions it's predominantly one bedrooms and studios and hopefully even, you know, more of the one bedrooms and studios and less of the two bedrooms. the issue on the historic buildings in article 10 and 11, i'm a little confused.
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i understand there's -- we've made it more restrictive than saying landmarks and article 10 buildings. there seem to be some middle area where eastern neighborhoods allows kind of a broad if you're eligible, but there was an article 10. i don't know the distinction between those two. >> sure. essentially, eastern neighborhoods, the bar is somewhat lower because it basically says if you're in a building that's been surveyed and it's been determined to be eligible for the state or national register, then you could take advantage potentially of these more flexible land uses. you don't actually have to be on the state or national registry -- >> article 11? >> no. article 10, article 11 -- article 10 and 11 are the planning code where we as a city designate them as landmarks as opposed to being on the a state or national -- >> when you talk about there's a lot of buildings that would fall under this eastern neighborhoods type designation of historic, are there a lot that would be fall under the
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article 11 definition of historic? >> not article 11. article 11 primarily deals with downtown. there is only a small portion of that district -- that area that overlaps the western soma. and even within article 11 there are categories of rating and -- [multiple voices] >> article 11 is not something that would have a big impact on western soma in terms of there aren't a lot of buildings that would be eligible for article 11 in western soma. >> okay. is that an idea that's been considered? i know the article 10 -- >> that was something that was brought up, was to -- along with the article 10 -- along with the kind of article 10 landmark threshold also providing an article 11 threshold with a certain rating criteria, like category i through 4. >> right, okay. it would be good to kind of know what the inventory is or some idea of kind of the article 10, article 11 and in
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the broader eastern neighborhoods. the four-block kind of overlap, i can't recall. is it currently -- do you -- is it in the plan that this is being studied? i mean, is there any reference to the fact that this is being studied elsewhere? >> no. [multiple voices] >> the plan in front of you was drafted, basically the draft was completed in 2008. >> right. >> at that time there was no central corridor project. so, it did not include any recognition of that planning process. i don't think there was -- it was not planned that the e-i-r would take four years and we'd be in a situation where this is an issue. >> so, you said [speaker not understood]. would you be okay with putting some recognition that that's -- that area is being studied under a separate planning process? >> that's a question for the commission to provide direction on in terms of -- if they want to address the overlap, how would you want to address it,
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whether it be the option or some other option. >> okay, thanks. >> commissioner sugaya. >> yes. on the historic aspect, i think we should think about as a staff, i'd like to have the staff think about expanding the current -- currently we're just talking about article 10 -- corey, are you using that designation as the trigger at the moment in the plan itself? so, the plan references article 10 landmarks. >> the plan, say like the area plan, did not recognize that level of -- it did you tellxction set the exact trigger what level of historical. but that is in the planning code in terms of implementing the plan. and that was a conscious decision after looking at, depending on where we set the threshold, what would the potential outcome be if we use the same eastern neighborhoods threshold. it would be an extremely high number.
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>> i'm not trying to push it to eligibility, but i think if we can consider landmarks and eligible buildings properties within designated historic districts, because that's an article 10 -- that's within article 10. you can either designate landmarks individually as properties or their historic preservation commission and the board of supervisors can adopt the historic district. that isn't to say that the surveys have been done, then lead to either one. there has to be an official action taken by the two bodies in order for a landmark to be designated and also for historic district to be designated. so, i'd like to have some consideration given by the commission to extending the liberalization of uses to contributory buildings in designated historic districts, of which i don't think there are any in western soma at the
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moment. i don't believe so. >> i don't believe so. >> okay. and the other approach might be to take a look at what kind of liberalization could be implemented for these types of buildings and there could be a difference between, for example, landmark buildings and contributory buildings. i think it's mainly -- the liberalization is aimed at uses i think and what can be allow and had what can't be allowed. and there might be consideration to tweaking that a bit for the plan in terms of what kinds of uses might be allowed and what kinds of uses might not be. so, that's a suggestion. and then just on -- this isn't directed to you, it's just a comment. on the overlap between the two planning areas, it seems to me
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that -- i was just reading the business times the other day and there is an article about the central corridor plan. and i didn't quite understand the paragraph that said, the planning department has issued a call -- i think it's properly called, a call for development proposals within this area. and it seems to me that if the department has already gone ahead and issued whatever it issued, for developers to come in and make proposals, then why in the hell are we even talking about this? this is an already foregone conclusion. so, i think we either got to treat it in this plan right now or we've got to reopen the entire issue of the central corridor plan, not make it informational any more, and have to take some action on it because this is really bad. it's appalling to think that a city department has issued a call for development in an area where the zoning doesn't allow for it currently. and we ought to hit the nail on the head or do something about
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it, you know. it just does not sit well. if we adopt this plan and then a year and a half or two years or three years later another commission is going to just turn around and undo everything that we've just adopted, it doesn't make any sense. >> commissioner antonini. >> well, thank you. in regards to the four blocks as we all know, there's a huge infrastructure investment in the central subway and other things. you know, it has been looked at as an area that would lend itself to development and makes a lot of sense to me. but i do remember during eastern neighborhoods when we had an area that we left out of the eastern neighborhoods and we kept it fli voting, i can't remember the exact borders of that because we weren't sure exactly what was going to come forward in the future. and perhaps something along that line might make sense. there are a couple of ways. we could leave -- i don't know
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what the existing zoning is in terms of -- i'm not sure it's an m1, i don't know what's zoned there at the present time. but whatever it is, the present zoning could stay in place, but it would be included as part of western soma for purposes of area plans. but there would be a restrictions on any kind of building before we were able to pass judgment on the central corridor. so, no one could run in and build something that might be totally incompatible with the rest of western soma under the existing zoning were it to be permitted. but this would allow a time to consider the central corridor and interface it with what is proposed for the western soma. but i think we need to look at this with more attention before just passing whatever is there because as i mentioned in my
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earlier comments, i've looked at the zoning. i don't think we've had the degree of attention given in public comment or in our discussions here as to what it actually call for. and i think we would like to see that. i don't know if we could do it right now, but certainly next week or before any final action is taken as to what's allowed, what are the height restrictions now, the density now, the parking restrictions now, all the types of things that might be factors that would dissuade development in the future in that area and then make a decision as to leave things as they are, move forward included in western soma with some sort of restrictions or cus required on almost anything that might be built there even if, you know, normally it would be as a right. that way in protection for people who may not want
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anything just built haphazardly there, it would be in place. but that would be kind of my thoughts on that zone. >> commissioner wu. >> thanks. so, on the issue of entertainment, i think there is starting to be some commission consensus on 3b and an interest it in looking at whether or not 340 111th can be grandfathered. * 11th commissioner moore asked does that apply to anyone else, is it just this one housing project. with regard to the historical question, i am also supportive of some sense of liberalization allowing some other uses to be in those buildings. but doesn't sound like the eastern neighborhoods standard is manageable. sounds like it's too many buildings. so, would like to see staff provide some information before next week. on the question of central corridor, i think it's actually real important for the western soma plan to go through as it is.
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i've heard the department say that over and over again. that's the way it's been introduced to me and that central corridor could be taken up if and when the time came. i would like staff to look into whether or not there has been some protocol for projects and what that means, what that actual article said because then that puts the commission obviously in a difficult position. >> commissioner moore. >> the [speaker not understood] position which the western soma task force has been taken throughout its tame of carefully wedding together the many community interests i think should make us very sensitive to looking at this housing project which has been around for quite sometime. and while there might be in the future conflicting land uses because entertainment and housing don't mix as well, i think it is ultimately in the sensitivity of this applicant to do what he ultimately takes risk for. and as far as the central
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corridor plan, i believe that is a project that has significant enough of a timeline. and i think i want to strongly support the respect for a process which i consider mature inclusive and very much exemplary for neighborhood driven planning as i think the western plan is. and i think a plan which is much younger and has not really gone quite through the scrutiny as the other one has, or just follow. we'll find this discussion, and i believe western soma would be interested to find common ground in those areas where the two plans support or conflict each other. that is just the nature of mature planning. >> commissioner sugaya. >> yes, i didn't intend to imply that i wanted to hold this up. i'm perfectly fine with moving ahead with the western soma plan the way it is with some tweaks here and there. but not to embrace anything that has to do with central corridor at the moment. >> commissioner hillis. >> again, central corridor, i
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want to clarify i'm also for moving forward on the zoning. i just think we should make note of what's actually happening in reality. i mean, central corridor -- this plan took a long time to get through the process, even kind of in san francisco standards, you know. took about as long as the shelf life of zoning. so, i don't think it's unreasonable that we're now undertaking a plan in the same area, generally in the same area in some overlap. so, i'd just like to see that recognized somewhere in the plan that that's actually happening. i think it makes sense when people look back on it and ask that question, why are we looking at central corridor so soon after we've adopted this plan. i think there is legitimate reason for it. so, we should state that. >> any additional comment? okay, thank you. >> commissioners, it will place you under item 13 for case no. 2012.1315 t, amendments to the planning code adding new
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section 102.36.1 to establish an annual monitoring requirement for student housing conversions. >> good afternoon, president fong, members of the commission. cynthia hayward, planning staff. this ordinance was proposed by supervisor kim and i see that [speaker not understood] from her staff is here. so, with your permission i'd like to turn the presentation over to him to begin. >> members of the commission, president fong. so, we are here talking about student housing again. we felt when the discussion came to the board, there was a piece missing and we recognize all the work that has gone into the original legislation that supervisor wiener introduced and to not hold all that work up and the new incentives to a
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commonly acknowledged goal of building new student housing up by creating a new requirement and amending the original legislation. we introduced trailing legislation. the process for us was clear. there were advantages and bonuses offered in the original legislation and legislation passed by supervisor, then supervisor dufty. and we believe to track accurately what was happening with new student housing was a must. we looked, to my experience, the experience of the residents of district 6 and what happened in a similar fashion with the hotel conversion ordinance in which we, the city monitors when units are converted from tourist use to residential use. and we want to kind of take a look at that ordinance and see how we could fit it in with this ordinance.